To tell time in Spanish:para vs menos

To tell time in Spanish:para vs menos


nine fifty-five or five to ten. You can use either para or menos. I think both are correct. Do you know which regions use which?

updated JUN 25, 2010
posted by tommyk

1 Answer


Welcome to the forum, tommykatts.

Both forms are understood in most areas.

In Spain: "Son las diez menos cinco."

In Latin America you will hear the "Faltan cinco mintos para las diez" or "Son las nueve con cincuenta y cinco minutos".

But - really - to my knowledge all forms are understood everywhere. It would be like saying in English: "It's one thirty" vs. "It's half past one". Everyone understands what you are saying.

updated JUN 25, 2010
posted by mountaingirl123
Thanks for clearing this up Patti. I always think there has to be a "perfect" way to tell time. However, as you said, in English we have quite a few ways as well. - Nicole-B, JUN 24, 2010
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